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This article was published 18/8/2017 (923 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives' Manitoba lieutenant has come out against the Rebel, saying the populist network's racist views don't fit in a modern party.
Portage-Lisgar MP Candice Bergen told the Free Press her party does not encourage far-right views.
"We condemn any kind of forms of racism and violence and intolerance," Bergen said Friday. "Anybody, any organization, that would in any way promote [that] is something we would reject… It’s not good for anybody"
Last October, Bergen appeared in a Rebel interview to criticize the Liberals' changes to firearm classifications. The populist network, which includes a website and YouTube channel, has since gained hundreds of thousands of followers, while ramping up its suspicion of immigrants.
Bergen said Friday she supports comments made the previous day by Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, who pledged to no longer give interviews to the Rebel "until the editorial directions" change.
Scheer had already condemned the outbreak of racially charged violence that occurred in Virginia last weekend, but stopped short of addressing the Rebel’s coverage. Many saw the network as sympathetic to the white nationalists who initially organized the event that later collapsed into clashes that killed one counter-protester and injured nearly 20 others.
"I am disgusted by the vile comments made by hate groups this past weekend," Scheer said in a statement Thursday.
"I believe there is fine line between reporting the facts and giving those groups a platform. I have a positive vision for Canada and I want to share that vision with Canadians and talk about issues that unite us all."
The Rebel started in 2015 following the demise of the conservative Sun News Network, courting controversy that escalated from a boycott of Tim Hortons after it pulled ads about the oilsands from its stores, to a piece by contributor Gavin McInnes originally titled, "10 things I hate about Jews."
Scheer’s delay in addressing the issue speaks to the delicate dance many conservatives do with the Rebel; with nearly 870,000 subscribers, it has a wide reach among conservatives and is thought to wield considerable influence.
The Conservatives will host their pre-parliamentary caucus meeting Sept. 7-8 in Winnipeg, highlighting their aim to win back the six Manitoba seats they lost in the 2015 election.
As many as 98 MPs and 38 senators (and spouses and children) will descend on the town to talk strategy for the fall session, while many plan to knock on doors and hear how Manitobans feel about federal issues.
— with files from The Canadian Press
Parliamentary bureau chief
In Ottawa, Dylan enjoys snooping through freedom-of-information requests and asking politicians: "What about Manitoba?"
Updated on Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 8:42 AM CDT: Edited